Great Alne secure promotion
Cotswold Hills League, Division Four
Great Alne 188-6
Great Alne won by six runs
GREAT Alne secured promotion from Cotswold Hills League Division Four on Saturday after a six-run success over Fladbury.
Needing a few points to guarantee second spot in the league table, Alne were asked to bat first, knowing that a score of 175 or more would be enough.
Early runs were hard to come by as Fladbury opened with the lively pair of James Turner and Ryan Dixon.
Dave Coll (15) battled through the opening salvo before being caught off a high full toss from Tim Lamden (1-21) to take Alne to 54-1 at drinks.
His fellow opener Rob Stanley and Steve Temple tucked into the change bowling, increasing the run rate as they closed in on 100 and the first point.
Stanley brought up his sixth half century of the season before falling to Matthew Jones for 54.
Jones struck again quickly, removing Alne skipper Jack Lawrence (1) to make the score 99-3.
Rob German came in and took the attack to the Fladbury bowling, scoring a run-a-ball 19 before falling to the returning Dixon (1-19).
Temple continued to strike boundaries at the other end, though, taking Alne past 150 with a half century of his own, despite losing Adam Key (3) to Turner (1-22) and Joe Walters (2) to the impressive Jones (3-23).
Finishing the innings on a sublime 83 not out, Temple took Great Alne to 188-6, securing promotion at the half way point of the match.
With confidence high, Alne attempted to make an early breakthrough, but were thwarted by Dave Prudden and James Turner.
It took the introduction of spin, in the form of Simon Chester (1-46), to make the difference, enticing Turner (10) into a top edge which was caught in the deep by Lawrence.
Rory Lamden joined Prudden and the pair remained solid, steadily eating into the run chase.
Prudden (48) was finally dismissed through a combination of Joe Walters (1-42) and the safe hands of Temple at cover to reduce Fladbury to 88-2.
This brought Dixon to the crease and saw an immediate increase in tempo.
Requiring seven runs an over to win, he attacked the Alne spinners, hitting sixes over the leg side with aplomb.
Lamden continued to impress at the other end, bringing up his 50 with a boundary through the covers as Fladbury closed in on victory.
Just as it seemed to be in their control, they lost both set batsmen in the space of two overs.
Firstly, Lamden (57) was bowled by Rich Brereton (1-25) before Dixon (38) was also bowled by Jack Rawlings (1-26) with Fladbury on 165.
Despite needing 24 from the last four overs, Fladbury were unable to beat the fielders and, with 12 to defend in Walters’ final over, Great Alne completed their promotion campaign with a thrilling six-run victory.